From the mountains and the desert beaches, we headed for Lima, the capital of Peru and the third largest city in South America. Given that we typically avoid major cities unless we have car repairs, I might have used the excuse of finding a vet for Luna to come here. But the real objective was the food. Peru, especially Lima, is famous for good food. For three days straight we did not cook even once. That was eight meals of continuously eating out and we barely scratched the surface of the culinary diversity of this city. We were lucky there was a hostel in one of the best neighborhoods that allowed car camping so we could splurge all our budget eating out.
And eating out we did. French bakery, dim sum, sushi, ceviche, octopus in olive sauce, , chifa, fresh fruit juices on repeat. It seemed like all we did in this city filled with museums and historical buildings was eating out. As usual, once the food arrived, our frontal lobes shut off so for evidence there are only two photos of half-eaten food.
We did make it to the Plaza de Armas and saw the changing of the guard at the Presidential Palace. We walked here from Chinatown after the best dim sum since leaving the Bay Area. The ceremony which was a first for all of us, was so long and slow. We tried to watch the whole thing but took off after 20 minutes. But Ty did learn about the concept of marching. From then on, the game of marching would motivate him to go just a bit further on walks. We also met a massive Rottweiler police k9 that we just had to approach. It had a heavy intimidating leather muzzle on, which made it look even more menacing but strangely defeated the purpose of having a guard dog. It and the police officer were actually very friendly. Simon and I pulled up our old Rottie pictures and talked dog with the police officer for a a few minutes.
The Centro Historico was nice but after visiting so many colonial cities in South America, the one in Lima didn’t particularly stand out. So the rest of the time we hung around the Miraflores district where our hostel was situated. Luna went with us everywhere. On walks. In cabs. On and off leash. Only three weeks with us by this time and she was already acting like a pro.
Lima is a city of 10 million and it gets a bad rep like the other big Central and South American cities. As we were driving into Lima going through the urban sprawl, we agreed it was a terrible sight. Heavy congestion, trash and smog. Simon worriedly asked why we were stopping in Lima at all. But there is always a money neighborhood in every city. The Miraflores district is by the sea and is full of green space, coffee shops and pure-bred dogs on leashes. It is upscale but not pretentious. The vibe reminded us a lot of San Francisco. Staying here let us recharge before the big leg into the mountains of the Sacred Valley.
And, we did accomplish the vet visit for Luna. The other “vet” that we went to in North Peru was in a shop that sold everything for chickens and cows too. The anti-parasite medication she got up there had a picture of a sheep on it. In Lima, she got all her vaccinations, a health exam, and new medications for external and internal parasites. All this set us back US$60. About the same as what it cost to just walk into a vet’s office in the States.